Environment, Opinion

Consumption shock

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Marie-Claire’s blog offers a lot of interesting sites and posts to visit. There is one in particular that hit me, especially in the wake of the post I wrote on The Story of Stuff earlier this week, and that is the link to a photographic arts show by Chris Jordan. It’s title: Running the numbers: An American Self-Portrait.

This show is amazingly shocking. What Chris Jordan has done is effective in its simplicity. He takes one topic and shows us, in the simplest way possible, what it really implies.

For example, he has a picture of one million plastic cups set up in a beautiful and intricate maze. Why? Because that’s the number of cups used on US airline flights every six hours. And here is what it represents:

This is an amazing way to make people realize the full scope of their actions. We might talk about the number of plastic cups used in flights, but maybe the reason people don’t do anything about it is because numbers are, after all small – they only take up a little space on a piece of paper.

But to see all the cups deployed in such a fashion makes it all the more shocking – a beautiful pattern made by all these cups that are having such a negative influence on the environment. I hardly doubt anyone seeing those pictures will ever be able to look at their plastic cups in a place quite the same way.

Some of the other pictures touch more our day to day lives (except, of course, for business travelers who use planes almost on a daily basis).

The two pictures below depict two million plastic beverage bottles, which is the number of plastic beverage bottles used in the US every five minutes.

Pretty crazy, no?

And below are a couple of pictures depicting 410,000 paper cups, which is the number of disposable hot-beverage paper cups used in the US every fifteen minutes.

I would strongly encourage you to visit the website and check out the other pictures. Then do take the time to reflect on these numbers and then decide how you are going to put Chris Jordan out of a job by changing these statistics :).

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote

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